Happy Spring Break to me! Whenever I finally get a break like this one, I’m immediately ready to sit down and write about everything that has been piling up in the back of my mind since I was last able to release it all — I saw a quote the other day from Flannery O’Connor that said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say,” and it’s so true! Given that this is my way of thinking, I made it my goal to spend part of my spring break working on this post… not remembering that I get my wisdom teeth taken out tomorrow and I may not be coherent for the next few days. So it looks like my deadline for this post is coming a little bit earlier than expected — so here’s what has been on my mind lately and why I’m so glad that God is in control of it all:
I’m convinced that nothing plagues college juniors more than what they’re going to do with their summers. I can’t even tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people about the concerns that come with internships — which ones are the most competitive? Which companies will actually hire me as an intern? Where can I afford to live in these big cities? What if I don’t get any internships? Will anyone hire me when I graduate? Is this going to look good enough to go on my resume? If this internship isn’t paid, how am I supposed to eat this summer? …and the list goes on. It’s times like these in which it feels impossible to not get swept up into the concerns of this world; honestly, there are so many times where I’m thinking, “I know that I need to be happy with wherever God places me this summer, but does He get that I really want a job when I get out of college?” I think my biggest fear is that God wants me somewhere else this summer, and I’ll have to choose that over an internship — even when everything at this university sends me a different message. And here’s where the reality hits me hard every time: who am I trusting with ALL of my future?
In my discipleship group, we have this conversation just about every week when we meet up. Our leader will ask us how our weeks have been and she’ll always ask for an update on what we’re thinking about doing this summer, and my discipleship partner and I mull over the same predicament — our professors are drilling it into our heads that we’re doomed after graduation if we don’t have experience, these companies that we’re interviewing with are telling us we’ll find out a in a few weeks… but where does God want us to go?
As I sit here right now, I have no idea where I’ll be this summer. I spent my entire fall semester of junior year longing to run around a big city as an intern for a major magazine, hoping to climb the ladder throughout the years — so I started applying for those internships. Out of nowhere, those ambitions shifted to my search for a public relations internship with some big-name company in a busy city, so I started applying for internships in that arena. I went into this whole application process with the idea that I would create as many options for myself as possible, hoping that when the time came to make a decision, God would lead me to the one that was best for me. In the spirit of opening more doors, I casually filled out a Summer Project application, not expecting this to capture my heart the way that it did. But in the back of my mind, the possibility of bigger internships was still there.
Last week, I got rejected from 2 of those internships. On the same day, my discipleship partner, who also applied to go on Summer Project, got rejected from an internship that she applied for. Two days later, another one of my housemates, who went on Summer Project last year and was thinking about doing it again this summer, was rejected from a program that would require her to be in school throughout the summer. And as the dominoes fell as we all received the news that we had dreaded for so long, I think in that same moment we all felt a sense of peace. Because God was making this really easy for us — we all prayed for direction, for the ability to discern where He wanted us this summer, and instead of bringing us to a fork in the road and forcing us to choose (which He will do sometimes in life, and rightfully so), He gave us one path and just asked us to trust Him on this one. To trust in His plan. To trust in His goodness. To believe that a summer spent honoring Him will bring far greater rewards than even the most competitive of internships.
Don’t get me wrong — there are many people that will honor God this summer by working as interns at various companies; I don’t think we were all meant to go on Summer Project or that internships are the root of all evil. But some of us will be called to forgo the prestige of the summer internship and take a different path. That may mean that we don’t land the dream job right out of college, but I think that when that time comes, it won’t be the dream job that we seek anymore — our hearts will gravitate toward something different, whatever it may be.
Like I said, I don’t know where I’ll be this summer. I’m still waiting to hear back from the Summer Project program, and I’m still receiving decisions concerning internships. All I know is that I hope I hand this over to God. There are so many things in my life that I don’t struggle with letting go of and handing over to the Lord, but this one has been tough. I just pray that I don’t let fear stop me from going wherever He calls me. Whether it’s the fear of an unfamiliar place, the fear of not having the funds to go, the fear of missing out on other opportunities, or just the fear of trusting without being able to see the outcome.
I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say… so I think we need to trust. For all of you who are in the same boat as me (honestly, who isn’t worried about the future in one way or another?), we need to trust that God has it figured out. And He will carry us through, because He is good.